Playoff shake-up for 2018 NASCAR calendar

Wednesday 24th May, 2017 - 12:08pm


Charlotte will host a Playoff race, but on the road course

The Charlotte Motor Speedway road course will host a Playoff race as NASCAR makes several changes to the Cup Series calendar for 2018.

The switch from the venue’s 1.5mi oval makes it the first road course to host a Playoff race since the format was introduced in 2004.

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Charlotte is not the only change to the Playoffs, which will now begin with a second race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Richmond International Speedway’s second race has been moved back to slot between Charlotte and Las Vegas in the first, three-race round of the play-offs.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway race replaces Richmond as the final race of the regular season (Round 26).

“I think a lot of it had to do with what we’ve heard from the fans over a period of time,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy on

“As the playoffs have continued to evolve and we’ve incorporated elimination into the playoffs, we’ve heard from our fans that they like to see some different variety in the places that we go during the playoffs.

“Most notably, the road course at Charlotte and the addition of the short track at Richmond are a couple of opportunities that presented themselves during the course of a lot of conversations with a lot of folks in the industry, and we were able to land in a good place.”

The Daytona 500 is the other significant change, returning to the President’s Day weekend on February 18.

Furthermore, qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Clash at Daytona will now both be held on February 11.

Calendar: 2018 NASCAR Cup Series

Race Day Track  
Feb 11 Daytona International Speedway Clash, Daytona 500 Qualifying
Feb 15 Daytona International Speedway Duel
1 Feb 18 Daytona 500
2 Feb 25 Atlanta Motor Speedway
3 Mar 4 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
4 Mar 11 Phoenix International Raceway
5 Mar 18 Auto Club Speedway
6 Mar 25 Martinsville Speedway
7 Apr 8 Texas Motor Speedway
8 Apr 15 Bristol Motor Speedway
9 Apr 21 Richmond International Raceway
10 Apr 29 Talladega Superspeedway
11 May 6 Dover International Speedway
12 May 12 Kansas Speedway
May 19 Charlotte Motor Speedway All-Star Race
13 May 27 Charlotte Motor Speedway
14 Jun 3 Pocono Raceway
15 Jun 10 Michigan International Speedway
16 Jun 24 Sonoma Raceway
17 Jul 1 Chicagoland Speedway
18 Jul 7 Daytona International Speedway
19 Jul 14 Kentucky Speedway
20 Jul 22 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
21 Jul 29 Pocono Raceway
22 Aug 5 Watkins Glen International
23 Aug 12 Michigan International Speedway
24 Aug 18 Bristol Motor Speedway
25 Sep 2 Darlington Raceway
26 Sep 9 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
27 Sep 16 Las Vegas Motor Speedway Playoff Round of 16
28 Sep 22 Richmond International Raceway Playoff Round of 16
29 Sep 30 Charlotte Motor Speedway Playoff Round of 16, Road course
30 Oct 7 Dover International Speedway Playoff Round of 12
31 Oct 14 Talladega Superspeedway Playoff Round of 12
32 Oct 21 Kansas Speedway Playoff Round of 12
33 Oct 28 Martinsville Speedway Playoff Round of 8
34 Nov 4 Texas Motor Speedway Playoff Round of 8
35 Nov 11 Phoenix International Raceway Playoff Round of 8
36 Nov 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway Playoff Final comment policy

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